Vodafone continues to break records during the Ramadan season, and continues to leaving other Ramadan ads and campaigns far behind.
This year alone, their main Ramadan ad has broken a record no one has held before. In 10 days, their 2017 ad has raised over 1 Million reactions. Reaching this point was no easy feat, even if Vodafone makes it seem like a piece of cake.
Last year’s ad, which was rewarded by being mentioned as one of the world’s most shared ads of 2016, has only reached 994K reactions. Close, but yet so far from their goal.
So, how Vodafone did it again?
Vodafone has been dominating this year’s advertising, receiving over 49% of the Telecom sector ad viewership as well as more than 70% of all telecom interaction, easily beating out both Orange and Etisalat. Vodafone alone has already received top numbers in viewership this Ramadan compared to the entire real estate sector.
1- Mega Production Budget
There is no question that great ads and campaigns have been made with small budgets, but it is unusual to see a campaign with a large budget failing.
One of the telecom giant’s biggest advantages is its almost infinite marketing budget. According to insiders, the annual marketing budget for Vodafone is over 200 million annually. This definitely provides them with a distinct advantage over other companies, not only against their competition in the telecom business.
2- Celebrity Endorsement
Vodafone has become known for using large numbers of celebrities for their Ramadan ads. Following the large ensemble from last year and 2015’s advert, this year includes another large group of celebrities.
الاعلام مش فاضي للي بيحصل
الاعلام مشغول بمين غسل في الاخر المواعين في اعلان فودافون
كندا علوش ولا عمرو يوسف :/
— Michael Samy (@michaelllsamy) May 31, 2017
Celebrities are commonly used to capture new users and audiences, build brand awareness through the celebrity’s social media channels, and can position the brand with the celebrity’s personal branding. Due to its flexibility and power, this strategy is used by many companies.
More on the abuse of celebrities in ads ► The overuse of celebrities in Ramadan Ads
The overuse and abuse of celebrity marketing has become apparent, especially when it comes to the telecom sector. It is starting to become such a trend that many should wonder, what would happen if they stopped using celebrities? Would they still be as popular as they are now?
3- Successful Partners
Brands who entertain, add value and create meaningful concepts to its target audience are the ones that win their attention, respect and recall.
Vodafone for this Ramadan, decided to proudly boost Egypt’s Red Devils “Al Ahly”, Vodafone has decided to bring back the sports flavor in Ramadan campaign featuring the little pharaoh Ramadan Sobhi who made one of the most buzzing-words for Ramadan 2017 “Ibn El Nady” with the help of Saad Samir’s hilarious dance.
Although Al Zamalik got a huge fan base in Egypt and around Middle East in addition to Africa, that hasn’t stopped Vodafone from taking part of the Ad in the home of Al Ahly “Mokhtar El Tetsh stadium” with cut-outs of with Al Ahly former players Ramadan Sobhi who is based in London now but still supporting his old teammates, even if he can’t show up to attend Ramadan in Cairo.
And soon the buzz-word (Ibn El Nady) is now frequently used by both Al Ahly and Zamalik fans equally!
— ehab ahmed (@ehabmerghni) June 16, 2017
4- Relevant Content and Themes
One of the reasons why Vodafone has become so popular with its Ramadan advertising is due to its relevant content and themes developed specifically based on the very unique nature of the holy month.
For 2015 and 2016, the company focused on embracing and expanding the family and friends theme, something that many people also focus on during the holy month. Vodafone is able to target a wide range of audiences by using this strategy.
This year’s ad focused on many events; impressing in-laws during your first Ramadan as a married couple, being away from family for the first time, and even the first time experiencing the atmosphere and food.
5- Planning The Plan
To avoid possible backlash against their large budget being used on popular celebrities, Vodafone started Ramadan with their newest Vodafone Foundation initiative.
Read more here ► Vodafone spread joy to the blind this Ramadan
A smart move from the telecommunications company. With the public becoming aware of their CSR work and efforts for Ramadan, the public was not adverse or against the large budget put in place for the actual Ramadan ad that was later released.
6- Celebrate and Communicate
The most important move, and the smartest, has always been their enthusiastic non-use of actual promotional marketing within their Ramadan ads and campaigns.
Rather than provide a strong marketing message, or a new promotion such as what Orange did this year, Vodafone focuses on the pillars and themes of the very special month. Vodafone ads during Ramadan have focused on spending time with family and friends, extending the family, and the spirit of Ramadan; not one of them have ended with a large focus on a selling point!
7- Mixing Logic with Emotional Messages
During the holy month of Ramadan, non-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) come out to play with other big ad runners. Ramadan, considered the biggest advertising and marketing season in the Middle East, usually brings out the best in terms of talent and advertising ideas within the region.
Also read ► Vodafone spread joy to the blind this Ramadan
As Ramadan is the peak of Charity and good deeds, this year Vodafone has decided to focus more on corporate social responsibility for Ramadan 2017 with a campaign towards the blind. Vodafone published an advert 24hrs before the start of Ramadan campaign to feature the telecom giant CSR efforts in bringing back the sight for the blind people for this Ramadan.